Fighter of the Month: September

applauseThe BoxingWriter.co.uk Fighter of Month award has now developed such prestige I’ve been asked if I can make an award more than twelve times a year. I’ve tried to explain how this plan has a numerical flaw but several fight figures assure me they’re 150% sure nobody will care, “look at the 17 sanctioning bodies, they’ll never notice, the fans are daft”. I’ve refused, neither of my readers are daft I protested, so for now I remain committed to a single award per month. Hiatus for July and August, so September’s winner is…

…following the triumphs of previous winners:

  • Monte Barrett [June 08] – knocking out Tye Fields
  • Antonio Margarito [July 08] – stopping Miguel Cotto
  • Cedric Boswell [August 08] – obliterating Roman Greenberg
  • Juan Manuel Marquez [September 08] – defeats Joel Casemayor
  • Shane Mosley [January 09] – stops Antonio Margarito
  • Jason Booth [June 09] – beats Rocky Dean

As the list suggest, the award doesn’t always follow the obvious or conventional. One name which deserved mention was John Simpson, a fighter I’ve been less than kind about in the past. His stoppage of Paul Truscott was an impressive performance and I’m a reluctant convert to Simpson’s fearless attitude and his growing confidence and stature in the ring.

Internationally, some fella called Mayweather recorded another victory over Juan Manuel Marquez but the debacle over his weight spoilt the achievement for me. Jean Pascal further strengthened his credentials, and by association Carl Froch’s too, with a win over veteran Silvio Branco in a defence of his Light-Heavyweight title.

macklinBut most impressive of all during September was Matt Macklin’s sensational knockout of Amin Asikainen in the opening round of their European title fight. Macklin leaps up the leagues with his performance and if he further solidifies his credentials at Middleweight he could enjoy a world-title shot in the coming season. Though the temptation to offer Jamie Moore a chance at the crown, and Macklin the opportunity to erase the defeat he suffered to Moore at Light Middleweight, will be strong.

The two contested a fight of the year contender in 2006, a thunderous war which was presumed, in the way of boxing parlance, to have done neither fighter’s longevity in the game any good. It was an ageing brawl. Macklin has proven the assumption wrong, bouncing back with noteworthy victories over veteran Yori Boy Campas during a run of three fights in Ireland, Geard Ajetovic the troublesome, and oft overlooked Serbian and former World title challenger Wayne Elcock who lacked the freshness and strength to hold the now 27 year old off. It has been an impressive run and Macklin’s achievement in winning the European belt is a worthy qualifier for this award.

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